AOL - AOL - trouble with account cancellation - closed account, and billed again

Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by 36724fd5

Company: AOL

Category: Internet Services

I set up free service with AOL, I called to cancel a few days prior to the end of the FREE service, they extended me another 45 days for free, I accepted, and I was told the service was free through October 17th, 2002. If I called by this date, no charges would be incurred. I called on October 17th at approx. 8PM, the representative asked me why I was cancelling, and I said I was cancelling my free service in time to avoid charges, this was the last day. He closed the account and did not advise me otherwise. On October 22nd, a bill for $28.90 posted to my Bank One account from AOL.

I called to find out why, since I had called to cancel on the right day. The representative said I had in fact called on the wrong day, I needed to call by October 16th, and October 17th was the first day of the new billing cycle. This was not what the first representative told me when he extended my free service, and I argued that I had called on the appropriate day.

He would not refund the charges, but I was assured the account was closed at this point once again. So from there, I filed a charge dispute through Bank One. They investigated the charge, and found it unauthorized and my account was credited. I received a bill from AOL though the mail shortly thereafter. I ignored it thinking the records had not been updated yet. I received another bill in the mail for a past due amount of $28.90 on December 13 that threatened collection activity and had a due date of December 26th. I called the number on the bill and explained what had happened to the AOL representative.

This representative told me that I had called in on Oct. 17th to close the account, but since it was the first day of the billing cycle and I would be charged, they left the account open without my knowledge, and she claimed the account had been used on Oct 18th. How could the account be used when I was confirmed the account was closed on October 17th? She also said the finding in the Bank One dispute didn't matter, and I still owed them the money even though it was found unauthorized. She said she would put the information through to aother department and maybe the fee could be waived, given that it was used for such a short time on the 18th and no time thereafter.

She said to call back and check in 3-5 days. I called Bank One right away to tell them what happened. Bank One agreed that I did not owe AOL money given the investigation findings. I called AOL back, and got yet another story for this representative. He said it takes 6-8 weeks for AOL to update their records and the dispute information was probably still being updated. I asked if anything had been reported to my credit, he assured me that it hadn't given what my letter said. So now it is December 16th, and I am not sure where I stand or what can be done if they keep insisting I owe money for an account I closed on the day I was told to close it (to avoid charges). I don't want this to affect my credit, but at the same time, I won't be bullied into paying for something I didn't use or agree to. I called to set up another free account some time ago, to check what date they would tell me to call by, the same thing happened. They told me it was free though a certain date. Then I said, so if I call by that date there will be no charges, and that is not in fact the first day of the new billing cycle? The representative corrected himself and told me to call in before the "last day of free service" which was really the first day of the new billing cycle for which I would be charged. He said it was always better to call a few days earlier, and he admitted the date he told me it was free through was not a date by which I could call to cancel for free, and it was the first day of a new cycle. This seems to be their misleading practice.


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